Bone-Marrow Donor Event at Minskoff Will Feature Lion King Family

News   Bone-Marrow Donor Event at Minskoff Will Feature Lion King Family The second of two bone-marrow donor drives in honor of Shannon Tavarez — the 11-year-old actress of The Lion King who was recently diagnosed with acute leukemia — will be held by The Lion King, Disney Theatrical Productions and DKMS on July 23 at the Minskoff Theatre.

Shannon Tavarez
Shannon Tavarez

The cast and crew of The Lion King will appear at the 10 AM-3 PM marrow drive at the Minskoff (at Broadway and 45th Street), which is the home of Disney's The Lion King.

The event will offer registration to become a bone marrow donor. A bone marrow transplant may be the only way to save the lives of Tavarez (who was appearing in The Lion King as Young Nala when she was diagnosed in April) and other patients like her.

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"Registering to become a bone marrow donor starts with a simple cheek swab; it is a commitment to help save a life," according to organizers. "Donors must be between 18 and 55 and in good general health and meet the eligibility requirements. Upon completion of a simple registration form, prospective donors will receive a swab (with a cotton-tip) of the inside the cheek to collect cheek cells which identify HLA tissue-type. If prospective donors are found to be a match, a DKMS representative will contact them to answer an extended health questionnaire. At that point, a scheduled blood test and physical examination will ultimately determine if those candidates are in fact, the best suitable donors. When prospective donors register with DKMS, they will also be listed on the Be the Match Registry and to be a possible donor match for any patient in need of a bone marrow transplant."

"The laboratory cost incurred by DKMS for registering a new potential donor is $65. Payment of lab fees is not mandatory, but as a non-profit organization, DKMS depends on public donations and contributions to underwrite the fees." For more information, visit matchshannon.com and getswabbed.org.

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DKMS is the largest bone marrow donor center in the world, having collected over 200 million registered donors in its recruitment efforts on behalf of leukemia patients.

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